April 4, 2012

Easter's Past

Estelle's Spring Mosaic

I like to remember Easter's past. Easter in Jackson......when I was a child....I like to remember my family. Everything Easter is sweet..so very sweet. Fresh, colorful flowers, darling little bunnies and chickens, Easter dresses and new patent leather shoes, Easter church service and the family gathering for a scrumptious Easter dinner in the dining room. Never did an Easter Sunday pass without the formal dining room being set with pink pastel heirloom linens, grandmother's fine china and newly dyed Easter eggs scattered on the table.

 We always attended church service at the Presbyterian church on Briarwood drive. We arrived home to the aroma of mother's dinner baking in the oven and began to prepare for the big egg hunt. This tradition continued for a number of years. It eventually turned into all of us with husbands and children in tow, returning to Jackson for Easter weekend and hiding the freshly dyed eggs in Mother and Daddy's backyard. I am so thankful to still remember and treasure those times in my heart.

Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon
2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 large shallots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved or quartered
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus 4 teaspoons chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons  Dijon mustard

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, shaking off the excess. Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add chicken; cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add shallots to the pan; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan; add carrot, mushrooms and tarragon sprigs. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the chicken is tender and no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard tarragon sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. Simmer the cooking liquid for 2 to 3 minutes to intensify flavor. Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in sour cream, mustard and chopped tarragon.

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